Rapper MC Hammer was arrested near Oakland, California for allegedly obstructing an officer.
The 50-year-old rapper, whose real name is Stanley Kirk Burrell, was arrested at a shopping center. Police say that Hammer was blasting his stereo from a vehicle very loudly causing the stop, reports the Contra Costa Times.
When asked about the ownership of the vehicle, police say that Hammer was uncooperative and refused to answer any questions. He was charged with obstructing an officer in the performance of their duties and resisting an officer.
In his defense, Hammer took to Twitter and says that he was accosted by a “chubby elvis looking” cop who tapped on his car window and asked “Are you on parole or probation?” Hammer also claims that the officer tried to pull him from his car and pulled out his gun. The rapper Tweeted that “the only thing more dangerous than a scared man with a gun is a scared man with an agenda, a gun and badge,” reports the Times.
Authorities maintain that the officer did not draw his weapon.
Generally, police have the right to stop a vehicle if they have probable cause that the driver violated a traffic law or otherwise broke the law. The police typically cannot stop a car for no valid reason, and especially for discriminatory reasons.
In Hammer’s case, the rapper has taken to Twitter and has hinted that his stop was illegal and possibly motivated by his race. Hammer stated that the cop came knocking on his car window and assumed that he was either on parole or probation.
Pulling someone over based on the color of his skin is illegal. But the police typically can pull someone over for blasting their stereo and disturbing the peace. If Hammer had kept his music down, he would probably have a better argument that the police had no business stopping him.
- MC Hammer arrested in obstructing officer case (CNN)
- Ja Rule Leaves State Prison, Taken Into Federal Custody (FindLaw’s Celebrity Justice)
- Rapper DMX Arrested for Driving Without License (FindLaw’s Celebrity Justice)